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Customer Success Stories

Fixing Disapproved Google Ads: A Novelty Diploma E-commerce Site

Disabled Google Ads? Sure! Let's Have A Look...

Have you ever experienced the frustration of having a Google ad campaign disapproved? It can be incredibly irritating, especially when your goal is to increase sales on your website. Not only that, but it often takes a significant amount of time to figure out why Google shut down your campaign.

But fear not! We have an intriguing case study to share with you. This unique PPC case study highlights how we were able to assist a replacement diploma company in getting their ads enabled again and achieving a remarkable 412% improvement in their average conversion rate.

If you've ever struggled with getting your ads off the ground, this case study is tailored just for you. We invite you to keep reading below to discover the insights and strategies we utilized to achieve this remarkable outcome.

270%

INCREASE IN ROAS

412%

INCREASE IN CONVERSION RATE

10.03%

CONVERSION RATE

45%

INCREASE IN CONVERSION VALUE

Background

Our client approached us seeking assistance with their fully disapproved ad account. Google suspended their account, triggering the “Enabling Dishonest Behavior” policy. While the company was not dishonest, it was understandable why Google flagged their unique product.

This client specializes in providing replacement diplomas for individuals who have damaged or lost their original certificates. They also cater to customers who order diplomas as novelty gifts or props for television and films. Unfortunately, Google could not distinguish between their legitimate offerings and potential violations.

 

Desperate for a solution, the client reached out to Google for assistance, only to receive a quote of over $25,000 per month to rectify the issue. Realizing the exorbitant cost, they turned to us to seek help reinstating their ad account and optimizing their paid ads. 

Audit

Our initial action plan was to perform a full-scale examination of the client’s Google Ads account and website, with the aim of pinpointing specific factors that led to account suspension.

While the top priority was reinstating their ad account, we also delved into examining their previous campaigns’ performance, leveraging this data to identify benchmarks for future strategies.

Through a rigorous auditing process, we unearthed more than 90 disapproved ads that violated the “Enabling Dishonest Behavior” policy. A sample of ad examples is provided below.

This discovery helped us to gain a better understanding of the flagged violations by Google and take actionable steps toward rectifying the issue.

After completing the initial audit, our next course of action was to analyze the client’s data meticulously. The client affirmed that their paid ads had previously achieved success before Google took action to suspend their account. While their ads were gaining traction, our expertise allowed us to identify areas for fine-tuning, leading to unparalleled growth.

Before collaborating with us, the client had already invested over $600,000 across more than 50 ad campaigns. Presented below is an overview of their performance:

Upon reviewing the performance metrics, we observed that these metrics were aligned with what one would expect from an average e-commerce campaign. They were realistic and not overly ambitious.

Our client achieved remarkable outcomes, especially when it comes to conversion rates and return on investment (ROI) for their branded keywords. They consistently achieved an average return on ad spend (ROAS) of 2.70 or 270%. This demonstrated the effectiveness of their campaigns.

However, our analysis discovered that Search Partners were enabled on all campaigns. Search Partners are websites that collaborate with Google to display ads and free product listings, extending the reach of campaigns across the web.

Out of the 57 campaigns, we found that 44 had Search Partners enabled; some campaigns even included Display Partners. This raised an opportunity for optimization and strategic targeting.

Take a moment to review the information below, which highlights how 44 out of the total 57 campaigns had Search Partners enabled. In addition to that, some campaigns also had Display Partners enabled.

It’s worth noting that enabling Search and Display Partners often results in a lower cost-per-click (CPC). However, this can eventually lead to a decrease in the quality of traffic received by an advertiser.

While it’s understandable why a client would be interested in these two platforms, Google often depicts them as a means to save costs while bringing in potential customers.

However, this assumption could be better.

The power and efficacy of the search capabilities are significantly impacted, and advertisers have to allocate their budgets across three platforms instead of solely focusing on Google Search. This expansion may lead to higher costs and lower the chances of conversion.

To exemplify this concept, consider the breakdown of budgets across the following platforms:

●    Google Search

●    Google Search Partners

●    Google Display Partners

Even though enabling Search and Display Partners may initially appear cost-effective, it may result in overspending on low-quality traffic with little to no conversion potential.

Moving forward, we will delve into the strategies we applied to enable the client’s account and significantly increase their conversion rate.

How We Fixed It

Reactivating the client’s account posed a significant challenge. It’s crucial to understand that regaining access to a disabled or suspended Google account is often arduous, and reinstatement may not always be granted.

However, it was imperative for us to assist the client in getting their account reinstated before proceeding with any efforts to boost sales and achieve their business objectives.

While the process may be difficult, we were determined to explore all possible avenues and work towards reinstating the client’s account so that we could effectively optimize their campaigns and drive more sales.

Upon reviewing the client’s website, our PPC team determined that they were not violating any of Google’s policies. However, a miscommunication existed between their ad copy and Google’s algorithms, which caused the issue.

Disapproved Ads

The client’s specialty lies in selling novelty or replacement diplomas. While their customers were aware of the nature of these products, Google’s algorithms flagged their ads, incorrectly assuming that they were selling genuine diplomas.

To resolve this issue, we followed the standard protocol and contacted Google Support. Our review request included comprehensive documentation that clearly demonstrated that the client only sold novelty diplomas. We provided a screenshot of their Disclaimer Page and highlighted the disclaimers that appeared on every product page.

We believed these measures would provide sufficient evidence to convince Google to lift any restrictions on the client’s account and enable us to drive traffic to their e-commerce platform effectively.

We received a response from Google after a week, which was relatively quick since their usual response time can be up to 14 days.

While their email wasn’t entirely positive, it provided valuable insights on addressing the issue at hand.

Google conducted an internal review of the client’s ads and also processed an appeal within the account interface, although the latter proved to be only partially successful.

According to Google’s findings, the client’s ad copy described the diplomas as “realistic” and “authentic.” However, it was unclear whether these diplomas were novelty or replacement items, violating Google’s policy on selling false documents.

In order to resolve this, we had to go back and remove any ad copy that made reference to the diplomas as “realistic” or “authentic.”

After making the necessary updates, our revised ads were approved in the first round of review. You can view the differences between the disapproved and approved ads below.

 

With everything now back up and running smoothly, our attention can shift towards enhancing their conversion rate.

Finding Qualified Traffic for Our Client

As mentioned earlier, our goal was to attract the most qualified traffic for this client. To achieve this, we made the strategic decision to disable the Search Partner and Display Partner settings.

We opted to concentrate our efforts solely on users utilizing the powerful Google Search platform. Our first step was to optimize their keywords to align with their brand.

The client specifically aimed to attract NEW customers or users who were unfamiliar with their company. To accomplish this, we focused on using high-intent keywords such as “buy a diploma” and “buy college diploma.” Below, you can find a list of some of the branded keywords we incorporated into their campaigns.

 

By targeting their campaigns and optimizing their keywords, the overall traffic would be impacted in a positive way. This approach would attract new users who were actively searching for a solution to their specific problem.

Although the number of people seeing these ads would be narrowed down, we were confident that each ad would be displayed to individuals who were ready to order a novelty diploma. This precision in targeting would increase the likelihood of attracting highly interested and motivated users to make a purchase.

How Did We Do?

In addition to targeting and keyword optimization, another key element of our strategy was conducting split testing for ads, locations, keywords, and site destinations.

Initially, we began by directing traffic to the client’s homepage, but this approach yielded subpar results in the campaign’s first month.

 

Here are further details regarding their conversion metrics.

 

Initially, there was a small improvement in performance after the first month, but it wasn’t remarkable. Remember, it usually takes time to optimize a campaign effectively.

After that, we made a significant change by switching the ad destinations from the client’s homepage to individual product pages. This simple adjustment resulted in impressive outcomes. See below for more details:

 

Despite the cost-per-click (CPC) nearly tripling after four months, the PPC team managed to surpass the performance of their original branded ads. The average conversion rate skyrocketed from 1.96% to an impressive 10.03%, marking a remarkable increase of 412%.

What’s even more impressive is that we accomplished all of this while attracting new customers.

How did we achieve these exceptional results? By eliminating irrelevant traffic sources, experimenting with various destinations, and prioritizing high-intent keywords. We never compromise on chasing the lowest cost-per-click.

Conclusion

This case study exemplifies why we find it so compelling to share. Our client approached us with a predicament that, if left unresolved, would have resulted in significant time and financial loss. Their ad account had been deactivated, leaving them clueless about how to restore its functionality.

One of the advantages of collaborating with our PPC department is our comprehensive understanding and experience with the Google Ads platform. Armed with this knowledge, we knew the precise steps to take in order to reactivate our client's account.

Once we regained access to their dashboard, we implemented changes designed to not only prevent future deactivation but also attract new customers. Although it required considerable time and diligent supervision, we ultimately identified the optimal settings that quadrupled their conversion rate.

If you require assistance with configuring your ad account or optimizing your campaigns to maximize sales, we're here to help! Don't hesitate to schedule a call with us to discuss strategy.

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